Mona Charen, one of the better conservative writers, just wrote an excellent piece entitled, “GOP was Bluffing on Health Reforms.”
Ms. Charen starts off with how we have the answer to the question: Why did not the Republicans have a repeal and replace plan for Obamacare? Obamacare was passed in 2010 and the leadership had said that replacing it was a high priority. Well, where is the replacement? The real answer according to Ms. Charen is not the difficulty, since they passed seven bills only to see them vetoed (by Obama). The real answer is the “Republicans were bluffing.”
On the original House replacement bill, 15 members of the Freedom Caucus said they would vote no. Some in the Senate now say the bill doesn’t go far enough. And there are the fakers: senators who flinch from cutting Medicaid funding. Medicaid has risen to $300 billion and is projected to rise to $500 billion under the Republicans. Where are the cuts?
As Ms. Charen reminds us, President Obama still had to cajole and bribe members with lures whose nicknames will endure. Now in the history of logrolling, we have – “the cornhusker kickback” for Senator Ben Nelson and the “Louisiana Purchase” for Senator Mary Landrieu. She goes on to say opponents of Obamacare were right about one thing: creating a new entitlement to healthcare has transformed the United States into Great Britain or close to it.
Charen’s conclusion is – one lesson of the 2016 primaries was that taking entitlement reform seriously was not as popular with GOP voters as vague promises of repealing Obamacare and adopting a “terrific” replacement that would cover everyone for less money to avoid the dystopia of people dying in the streets. But let’s be clear: because of GOP primary voters’ choices, we’re now heading straight for the rationing of care, just like Europe is her conclusion.
Let’s be clear – we already have rationing of care. Simply look at the single pay or program of the Veterans Administration. It may take three months to replace a hip in England, but some veterans died before they even saw a doctor.
The problem in Washington is the “swamp people” don’t want change. That includes all those individuals having a say in how the process works. David Gelernter, inventor of Lifestreams, said in his Wall Street Journal column, “Many Republicans hate Mr. Trump and love to denounce him, which lets them show their integrity and sometimes a less praiseworthy attribute.” Many intellectuals think Mr. Trump is vulgar, a peasant and a Queens’ operator who struck it big and who embarrasses the country. As Mr. Gelernter notes, it never dawns on them that the president can’t stand them any more than they can stand him. Yet they expect him to treat them with respectful courtesy if he ever runs into then – as he should and on the whole, does. Conceivably, they should treat him the same way, but don’t. Although no one would say that Joe Scarborough or his girlfriend Mika Brzezinski rank as intellectuals, they expected to spend New Year’s at Mar A Logo and receive reserve tickets to the inauguration – all the time telling America how worthless President Trump is.
Many conservative intellectuals insist that Mr. Trump’s wrong policies are what they dislike. Mr. Gelernter then goes on to list them. So, what if he has restarted the Keystone pipeline, scraped many statist regulations, appointed a fine cabinet and a first-rate Supreme Court justice, asked NATO countries to pay up, led us out of the Paris climate accords, increase military spending, propose lower taxes and replace Obamacare and revamp immigration policy as well as that of trade.
Republican congressional members and leadership helped create President Trump. They never “blasted” President Obama as he deserved. He should have been a one-term president. It was the Tea Party outbreak that gave Republicans control – not the policies of incredibly weak Republican congressional members.
Some GOP conservatives have the impression that by showing off their anti-Trump hostility, they will get the networks and newspapers to like them. It doesn’t work like that. Although, the right reads the left, the left rarely reads the right. Why should they? They own America’s clutter. They own the universities, newspapers, most television networks, Hollywood, public schools and publishers.
For two generations, the right has never made one significant move against the liberal culture machine. What congressional leadership should do, if it even exists, is to get out of the way and let President Trump carry out his program to make America great again. Remember the ole adage “those who can do and those who can’t teach.” Maybe Republican senators should go into teaching since they “can’t do” or pass the president’s agenda.